Arts International Guitar Festival launched

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This year’s Ards International Guitar Festival will rock into Newtownards from April 3 – 7.

With an eclectic mix of brilliant local talent and international artists, expect guitar-inspired gigs, guitar clinics with industry professionals and an exhibition; In Your Town featuring Rory Gallagher memorabilia.

Now in its 22nd year, the festival, organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council will take place in various venues around Newtownards.

As always, the programme welcomes international guitar talent to the town. Hailing from Winnipeg, Ariel Posen is an internationally-renowned guitarist, singer/song-writer, producer and solo artist. Ariel’s event with Simon McBride at The Queen’s Hall on Saturday April 6 is sure to be a festival highlight.

For the first time this year, the festival is pleased to present an Irish Traditional and Contemporary guitar event featuring two of the country’s finest musicians in those genres. Donal Clancy son of the world-famous singer Liam and regarded as one of Ireland’s finest trad guitarists will take to the stage in Ards Arts Centre on Thursday 4 April with Carlow-born contemporary guitarist Shane Hennessy.

Other programme highlights include classical virtuoso Gary Ryan, Megan O’Neill and The Dunwells, The Ronnie Greer Band, John Tracey with Siomha, rock sensations Dea Matrona and more.

There will also be a screening of the iconic Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster and George Lowden in conversation with special guests.

For full programme details and to book tickets visit or contact Ards Arts Centre on 028 9181 0803.